Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kefir Bread

Pin It I made a Dublin coddle for supper, and what goes better with coddle than Irish soda bread?
It was slightly more attractive before we tore it to bits and devoured it.

Not much, but I had no buttermilk and, of course, a napping toddler.
I did, however, have some raw milk kefir I had let culture a bit too long to drink, and before I tested it out, I poured it in with all my other kefir. (The raw milk made those kefir grains multiply like rabbits.) Now I have a ton of slightly-too-sour kefir. I figured, why not. It is close enough to buttermilk, right?

It was brilliant.

2 c. bread flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 c. Kefir (or buttermilk, if you want to make real Irish Soda Bread)

This bread could not have been easier. I have botched many loaves, but this one actually came out as intended AND with the toddler fully involved in every step. Really truly.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the egg and kefir. Blend with your fingertips until a shaggy, wet dough forms.

Flour a work surface and turn out the dough. Gently knead the mass a few times until it forms a ball. Do not overwork! I kneaded mine maybe 4 times. Maybe.

You can either put this on a pan or in a cast-iron pot/dutch oven. I did the latter. Either way, spread a little bit of olive oil around, then sprinkle with flour. Place the ball on/in the vessel and pop it in the oven. If you put it in a pot it will take about 40 minutes to bake, less if you put it on a pan. When it is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped, it is done!

I love it. This bread is dense and it is best torn, not cut. You could divide the loaf and make rolls. This is fantastic for soaking up juices, broths, stew, and even better the day after with some jam and tea.

What I wouldn't do for some clotted cream right about now.

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